I might go as far as to say Lisbon is my favourite city in Europe. It’s a bold claim and I’m still not 100% sure but it’s definitely up there.
It ticks a lot of boxes for me, next to the water, historical buildings with traditional architecture but with modern conveniences, easy to get to, walkable and of course a great food scene.
Lisbon was the location of our annual girl’s trip away so in true O’Welly fashion I did all the planning and organising and Amy, well, Amy turned up wearing a Coconuts jumper.
The below is a guide on spending two to three days in Lisbon, if you have more time do go further afield to Porto, I hear great things and it’s in the plan for next year.
After flying easyjet from London Gatwick to Lisbon and a very short taxi ride we arrived at our hotel early afternoon; Hotel da Baixa. Perfectly located, recently opened and fabulously decorated it suited us perfectly.
The other thing Amy does on our trips is ‘make me do things I don’t want to do’. Enter Go Cars stage left. These ‘GPS Guided Storytelling Cars’ are a great way to explore the city. If you have a death wish. I joke, they’re perfectly safe, just a little terrifying but that’s partly due to the narrow, winding streets. We took the shortest route (there are different options) and spent about an hour exploring which was in fact, a great introduction to the city.
That evening we had tickets for Lisbon under the stars, which is an immersive light show in the shell of the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo ruins, taking you through the history of Lisbon. At 15 euros it’s well worth visiting but check the dates, this doesn’t run year round.
The next morning we went to queue for Tram 28. A few other travel blogs will tell you not to bother, that the queue is massive and trams crowded. It is all those things but I still think it’s worth doing. Head out to Martim Moniz for the best chance of getting a seat, which we did. Alternatively, take the tram later in the day when it’s much quieter.
After a delicious brunch at Copenhagen Coffee lab we spent the afternoon exploring the Alfama district.
This included a visit to the beautiful Castelo de Sao Jorge which not only provides beautiful views across the city but is a gorgeous place to wander around, take in the history, watch the peacocks and explore this impressive defence building of Lisbon. Tickets are 10 euro per adult.
We had dinner at the fabulous Os Gazeteiros, which I found on trip advisor. It doesn’t look all that special from the outside but a five course tasting menu for 40 euros each was incredible. Drinks at Park, a bar on top of a carpark finished off the night. That and the tequila.
Our flight on Sunday was in the evening so we had a full day of sight seeing, starting with two of the most visited places in Lisbon, Jeronimos Monastry and Torre de Belem. Take tram 15 here for a couple of euros and get there early. Dating back to the 15th century it was designed by Portuguese architect Diogo de Boitaca in a late gothic style.
We didn’t go inside but instead headed over to Torre de Belem which is worth getting to early. They sell tickets at a kiosk near the entrance which means you can skip the long lines. The views from the tower are beautiful the defence building itself is an impressive sight next to the water.
Time Out market is a short tram ride/ uber trip away and is an amazing food hall apacked with a huge choice of places to eat and drink. Well worth a visit.
The afternoon was spent at the Tile Museum. The gift shop was closed which was really disappointing. Portugal is famous for its decorative tiles and the museum takes you through the history and is perfect for interior design inspiration.
We had a couple of hours mooching round the port and eating ice-cream before we headed back to the airport.
There’s something about the feel of Lisbon that’s hard to describe, sometimes I guess you just fall in love with a place. You have my heart Lisbon. Until next time.